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Worm marking?

Petersen, Mary Elizabeth MEPetersen at zmuc.ku.dk
Fri Jul 2 20:57:36 EST 2004

Hi Thomas,

I have no experience and no idea whether this suggestion would work, but
have you tried an appropriate color sewing, surgical or other thread
brought through the skin with as fine gauge a needle as will do the
trick? It would be a kind of micro tagging, as is (or was) done with

Depending on the size of the worm, you might be able to put a tiny bead
of the kind used for embroidery at one end to have a discrete spot to
watch. If the thread is soft, it should not irritate too much, but if it
is cotton, I suppose it would be best to remove it once the study was
done - if you want the worm to continue living.

If you used surgical thread, I think there are kinds designed to be
absorbed so they need not be removed. It probably comes in black and

Thread might work on nereidids or other worms that do not fragment, but
if the thread irritated the worm enough, something like a scaleworm
would probably fragment. Choice of worm(s) matters. It would probably be
best to choose a species that did not reproduce asexually by

Whether this would work and what side effects it might cause are
something else.

Just a thought! 


Mary E. Petersen
Tel +45-35 32 10 67 - Fax +45-35 32 10 10
E-mail: mepetersen at zmuc.ku.dk


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